Quick Takes: Women Need Not Apply, Supreme Court Rejects Delay in Michigan, Davis Pays $725,000 to Ex-Coach, Fake Diploma Blocked, Admission on Stem Cells, Access to Anthropology, Unesco Demands Safety for Iraqi Academics, Maricopa Probe

January 22, 2007
  • The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary forced out a professor who taught Hebrew because she is a woman, The Dallas Morning News reported. The seminary, affiliated with the conservative wing of Baptist thought, goes beyond other Baptist institutions that bar women from serving as clergy to say that they may not instruct men. The chair of Southwestern Baptist's trustees told the newspaper that the hiring of Sheri Klouda was the result of a "momentary lax of parameters." Klouda's treatment by the seminary was first revealed on Grace and Truth to You, the blog of Wade Burleson, a Baptist pastor in Oklahoma. "The treatment of Dr. Klouda is indefensible biblically, ethically and morally," Burleson wrote.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday, without comment, rejected an appeal to delay the start of Michigan's ban on affirmative action in admissions at public colleges. Universities have argued that the ban, approved by state voters in November, should not take effect in the middle of an admissions cycle, when some applicants have already been admitted or rejected. But supporters of the ban argued, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit found that there was no justification for a delay.
  • The University of California at Davis has agreed to pay $725,000 to Michael Burch, who sued the institution when his contract as wrestling coach was not renewed in 2001. Burch said that he was ousted from his position for backing female wrestlers in their discrimination claim against Davis. The university denied discriminating against the female wrestlers or retaliating against Burch, and officials said that the settlement reflected only a desire to avoid long and expensive litigation. Burch told The Sacramento Bee: "Do you pay nearly three quarters of a million dollars if you're right? I don't think so."
  • Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter obtained an injunction to shut down a Web site that was selling fake Indiana University diplomas, some of them featuring the university's logo and forged signatures of its president. Indiana officials said that the fake diplomas did not look like actual diplomas, but had a realistic enough look that someone who had not seen an Indiana University diploma might be fooled. The Web site of the company is no longer functioning, and its owner could not be reached for comment.
  • A senior official of the National Institutes of Health admitted at a Senate hearing Friday that President Bush's limits on stem cell research are blocking important research. The Washington Post reported that Story Landis, who is leading the NIH panel on stem cell research, told a Senate hearing that "we are missing out on possible breakthroughs."
  • The American Anthropological Association on Friday announced that it would give free access to the 15 peer-reviewed journals available online in AnthroSource to historically black colleges, tribal colleges in the United States and Canada, and institutions in 113 less developed countries. Association officials said that they wanted to "give back" to groups anthropologists have studied and to make sure that cost is not a barrier for these institutions to receive the latest anthropology research.
  • The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization has issued a statement, in the wake of the bombings that killed dozens of university students in Baghdad this wake, demanding that the government of Iraq protect higher education. The government must "do its utmost to defend the basic human right of young Iraqis to education," said Koichiro Matsuura, director-general of Unesco.
  • Detectives stormed multiple campuses in the Maricopa County Community College District last week in an effort to gather evidence in an ongoing fraud investigation. Eighty detectives fanned out to across the Arizona district to collect computer equipment, contracts, attendance and enrollment records and travel documents from the colleges, which were in session. The sheriff’s department said that at least $500,000 has been misused. Internal audits from the district have, in past years, looked into potential cases of travel fraud, nepotism and falsified enrollment. The college’s board chair has acknowledged that better financial records need to be kept. The sheriff’s department said the raids will keep college officials from destroying documents, but some at the college called the move a publicity ploy. A department spokeswoman said it is uncertain whether the investigation will produce criminal charges. The district said it is cooperating with the investigation.  
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